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A few (okay, more than a few) years ago, when I lived in a land far, far away, I remember a controversy in the U.S. sparked by a talk show host saying that African-Americans were better at basketball/sports because slavery had bred better physical prowess into them compared to whites. At that time, I was fairly clueless about (i) structural racism; (ii) the shaky grounds of social biology; and most importantly, (iii) the crucialness of context for giving meaning to what individuals say. (I asked my friend why the talk show host’s remarks couldn’t be seen as a compliment or, at least, some sort of “neutral” commentary. Yes, sadly, I was that clueless.)

JANUARY 19. 2011 UPDATE

This post is now closed for comments.  Thank you for reading and discussing.


JANUARY 17, 2011 UPDATE

(1) I was probably naive in thinking that this discussion would be confined to the microworld of LJ R&I fandom, but I did not expect that someone would tweet this entry to Angie Harmon directly. While it would have been fabulous if reading the post had resulted in a greater understanding of a part of her fanbase (and no, I'm not asserting that that is her responsibility), it seems like it basically just hurt Angie's feelings, which is a pity.

(2) I have changed the permissions for commenting to registered LJ users only.  Although I can tell  anonymous commenters apart by their IP addresses, other readers can't.  If you want to comment, please register on Livejournal.

(3) I will be locking this post for comments soon, probably in the next couple of days.  I'm very pleased that the discussion has
generally been quite civil, but we're starting to go around in circles a bit on a key and valid point of contention, which is what it was/is reasonable to expect from Angie Harmon on Twitter.  People with different perspectives have made good arguments, but I doubt we'll reach a consensus.
_____________________________________________________________________________

I would like to share some thoughts about context in the light of what I saw some tweeps call “Sashagate,” sparked by this tweet from @Angie_Harmon last night:

Ok kids, our question for the day is, what actor do you think would make a good love interest for jane ?
about 12 hours ago via Twitter for Android


After the Most Could-She-Be-That-Naïve Did-She-Really-Go-There-In-This-Sea-of-Lesbos-(And-Some-Straight-Folks)-Crazy-For-Rizzles tweet in the history of Twitter …

There were an avalanche of responses, of which I’d estimate a sizable majority fairly screamed Sasha Alexander!! (or Maura Isles!!!), along with responses suggesting a scattering of male actors. Some of the latter were predictable, some were interesting, a couple were a bit puzzling (e.g. Mark-Paul Gosselaar – Garrett Fairfield from S1 – who, as Angie herself pointed out later, “belonged” to Maura).

Anyway, we waited to see how Angie would respond to the fact that the most mentioned person by far was none other than her lovely co-star. That the most popular response was a resounding vote for Jane/Maura, Maura/Jane all the way. We waited with bated breath, tingling toes, thumping hearts. Surely she knew about Rizzles? Sasha had said as much! Would Angie wink at us? Would she smile, would she tweet one of those endearing capitalized, triple-exclamation-pointed tweets??? Like, oh, I don’t know, “OMG! I LOVE Sasha!! Not sure that’ll happen though :)!!!”

As we know now, what we got for all those Sasha/Maura responses, was:


Ok kiddos... a MAN please.
about 10 hours ago via Twitter for Android


There was no mention of Sasha Alexander. There was no wink, no smile, not even a single exclamation point. The tweet seemed to say, “I have read your responses, and the ones that suggested a woman” – i.e. all of you who yelled out Sasha! – “aren’t answering my question. I’m only interested in male actors. Because I meant for Jane to get it on with a MAN.”

The gale heard moments after that tweet were the collective despondent sighs from Rizzlers across the Twitterverse, that thunderous crash the sound of a million Rizzles hearts breaking a little at once. It’s not like most of us expect the show to actually make Jane and Maura a canonical romantic couple, however many times even the mainstream press calls their relationship a
womance or the best new TV couple of 2010. But given that Jane/Maura is, if not the fan-preferred couple, at least a very popular pairing, you might have thought Angie Harmon would throw us a bone. Or at least acknowledge our replies in some way. Because she did take the time to respond individually to a number of tweeters who suggested male actors.

Prodded by some tweets, she’s since explicitly stated that she does like lesbians:

From Rizzoli_825:
RT if you Want To Know if @Angie_Harmon Doesn't care for Lesbians OR if she just doesn't want Jane/Maura together?
about 9 hours ago via TweetDeck
Now I REALLY need to know how @Angie_Harmon feels abt Lesbians!!
about 9 hours ago via TweetDeck
Angie_Harmon’s reply:
@Rizzoli_825 what do you mean?? I like lesbians!! 1 of my Closest friends is a lesbian. I can't count how many of my close friends r gay!
about 7 hours ago via Twitter for Android in reply to Rizzoli_825

She’s also acknowledged her awareness of Rizzles, the lesbians, and has even been a mite more encouraging – or ambiguous – regarding Jane/Maura:

From katelyn__ann:
Angle, dear, u ask ur gay followers who your butch character should sleep with. What did u expect? @Angie_Harmon: Ok kiddos... a MAN please.
about 9 hours ago via Twitter for iPhone
Angie_Harmon’s reply:
@katelyn__ann LOL!!! I KNOW!!! AM I CRAZY??
about 9 hours ago via Twitter for Android in reply to katelyn__ann

From Nynke1979:
You're surrounded by lesbians here and you really expect us to choose a man for Jane? ;o) RT @Angie_Harmon Ok kiddos... a MAN please.
about 8 hours ago via web
Angie_Harmon’s reply:
@Nynke1979 LOL!!! What was I thinking?? ;)
about 6 hours ago via Twitter for Android in reply to Nynke1979

From NKCoverGrrl:
@Angie_Harmon you know there's a whole faction of Rizzoli & Isles fans that think the best couple would be, well, Jane and Maura!
about 7 hours ago via Echofon
Angie_Harmon’s reply:
@NKCoverGrrl oh, we know!!! ;)
about 7 hours ago via Twitter for Android in reply to NKCoverGrrl

From bionic_woman83:
@Angie_Harmon I started watching the show bc @afterellen did a blog on it as a possible Lez/Bi duo! Don't ruin my hopes!
about 7 hours ago via Twitter for iPhone
Angie_Harmon’s reply:
@bionic_woman83. Ok!! Ok!! Anythings poss!!
about 7 hours ago via Twitter for Android in reply to bionic_woman83

And hey, she even finally gave a positive response to a suggestion of a female actor to play her love interest (but no, it wasn’t a tweet about Sasha):

From B_Schmidt:
@Angie_Harmon Meryl Streep. The role could be Batman and Meryl Streep would still be perfect.
about 8 hours ago via web in reply to Angie_Harmon
Angie_Harmon’s reply:
@B_Schmidt yes... perfect!
about 7 hours ago via Twitter for Android in reply to B_Schmidt

Sasha Alexander has said that Angie Harmon is not homophobic. Another person close to the show that I’ve spoken to has made it clear that Angie Harmon is cool with having lots of lesbian fans, and isn’t bothered by the Jane/Maura shipping. So let me say it too: I don’t think Angie Harmon is homophobic, i.e. I don’t believe she dislikes or is afraid of LGBT people, I do believe she works and plays well with the undoubtedly large number of queer people in the entertainment industry, I do believe she has gay and lesbian friends. Charges of homophobia – like those of racism – ought not be thrown around lightly, and I don’t think Angie Harmon’s tweets have provided anywhere close to sufficient evidence that she’s homophobic. (Nor does the fact that she is Republican or supports Sarah Palin, or even if she voted for Proposition 8, but that’s fodder for another post.)

However, in tweeting “Ok kiddos... a MAN please” without acknowledging the hopes and desires of Jane/Maura shippers, without seeming to recognize that she plays a character who many read as gay/bi despite the repeated boyfriend storylines, Angie Harmon was, in my estimation, somewhere between insensitive and clueless. What she doesn’t get, I don’t think, is what it feels like to crave queer characters and storylines on television, to have been starved of these our whole lives. As Sarah Warn at AfterEllen noted,
television is our “cultural campfire,” and as such, its narratives have an impact that books, film, and even the internet don’t (yet, anyway). It’s where we get to know and love characters over years, and it’s a big reason why good, regular LGBT representations on popular television shows are so important.

The dearth of female characters who are not only strong, intelligent, and attractive but queer is the context in which so many of us ship two characters who canon has told us repeatedly are straight. It’s the context in which a question like “what actor do you think would make a good love interest for Jane?” would draw so many excited responses of Sasha!!!! even though we probably suspected Angie was asking about men. And it’s the context that made “Ok kiddos... a MAN please” such a disappointment to see, Angie’s follow-up tweets notwithstanding.

I still follow Angie, I still find many of her tweets funny, and I’m sure I’ll enjoy her depiction of Jane when Rizzoli & Isles finally graces my screen again. But for now, that tweet has kind of killed my Jane/Maura muse (except when it makes me want to go write complete and utter smut where Maura really, uh, gives it to Jane).

Next post, maybe: why Sasha Alexander is awesome.
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Comments

( 244 comments )
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reversatility
Jan. 10th, 2011 04:52 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I think it's *really* important to draw a distinction between not considering the context/thinking things through properly on the one hand and being a bigot on the other. The first can make someone possibly come across as the second, but they're not the same.

And thanks for mod-posting this on jane_maura_ff - I appreciate it!
cybertardis
Jan. 10th, 2011 03:20 pm (UTC)
I responded in the community thread, but I'll post here, too.

I hope it doesn't kill your Jane/Maura muse--I enjoy your stories as well as your insightful commentary too much.

If she'd simply allowed the question to stand as asked, and laughed over the response (as Sasha probably would've done), everything would've been fine. If she'd even put an emoticon on the second tweet, it would've been fine. Coulda woulda shoulda.

This is serving to remind me how much I hate it when actors/writers/producers interact with fans. Sometimes it is better to "pay no attention to that man behind the curtain."
reversatility
Jan. 10th, 2011 04:58 pm (UTC)
If she'd simply allowed the question to stand as asked, and laughed over the response (as Sasha probably would've done), everything would've been fine.

Right. Like, even if she had *meant* "male actor," she could've been good-humored/ambiguous/slyly teasing with all the Sasha responses.

If she'd even put an emoticon on the second tweet, it would've been fine.

Exactly! Even a wink at the end of it would have acknowledged that she'd not only seen the huge response in favor of SA, but was okay with it.

This is serving to remind me how much I hate it when actors/writers/producers interact with fans. Sometimes it is better to "pay no attention to that man behind the curtain."

Yeah, I used to *never* engage with TPTB behind the scenes; I preferred to have my fictional narratives untainted by Real Life. But Sasha Alexander was so lovely and gracious on Twitter that I got sucked in ...

I hope it doesn't kill your Jane/Maura muse--I enjoy your stories as well as your insightful commentary too much.

Aww, thanks. I think the muse may return once I get this Twitter stuff outta my system!
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onlyjustwhisper
Jan. 10th, 2011 03:22 pm (UTC)
PERFECT, FLAWLESS POST. You've hit the nail bang on the head and this is exactly what I wanted to say! Especially the part about lesbian storylines on TV. (I'm too used to subtext being snatched away from me and I'm really afraid of this happening to R&I, which is why I freaked out when all this exploded over my feed last night.) Really brilliant post, I'm definitely going to link to it when I get around to doing another LJ post :)

(I really want that Sasha Alexander post now, please! ♥)
reversatility
Jan. 10th, 2011 05:02 pm (UTC)
Wow, those are words of high praise indeed, thanks so much!

I'm a bit concerned about what might become of the subtext too if there are too many of these charged exchanges on Twitter between fans and actors/show runners. Not that Angie Harmon is going to go running to Janet Tamaro and cry, "OMG, the fans think Jane and Maura should get together!" Because they *all* know that already, including Tamaro. But that TPTB might think about shifting the balance back a bit to fans of Jane/Grant or Jane/Dean - and as much as we Rizzlers might groan about those pairings, those ships have their followings too. *sigh*

I really want that Sasha Alexander post now, please! ♥

Before all this Twitter stuff last night, that SA post was what I was planning. So it's in the works (or at least in my head), I promise :-).
luciddreamer326
Jan. 10th, 2011 03:25 pm (UTC)
Maybe I am outside the norm, but I am a straight woman and ship Maura/Jane hardcore. I don't think I started out that way but like many, I felt that there was a subtext in there that I just couldn't ignore. And when I thought about it, I just really LOVED the idea of the pairing. While I wish TNT/the writers/the actors would embrace this idea, I am fairly certain they never will.

I sort of wish they had saved the "lesbian killer" storyline for a later season so that maybe Maura and Jane could have gone undercover or something. At least that would have satiated us "Rizzles" shippers a bit while not putting them in an actual relationship.

Anyway, excellent thoughts. I agree with you completely.
reversatility
Jan. 10th, 2011 05:12 pm (UTC)
Maybe I am outside the norm, but I am a straight woman and ship Maura/Jane hardcore. I don't think I started out that way but like many, I felt that there was a subtext in there that I just couldn't ignore.

It's always lovely to find out about our straight allies :-) (shout-out to darkemberdagger as well!). The chemistry between Jane and Maura is undeniable, whether one sees it as friendship or more. Even Tess Gerritsen, who apparently *never* imagined her characters as lovers, said "I can see how the TV version of Jane and Maura might be interpreted in different ways. Angie and Sasha have great chemistry together, which is the reason they were cast for the parts." (see her Rizzles post at http://www.tessgerritsen.com/blog/fanfic-and-rizzles/ )

I sort of wish they had saved the "lesbian killer" storyline for a later season so that maybe Maura and Jane could have gone undercover or something.

Excellent point, and me too! It's like many shows that aren't sure of getting a second season, so they cram everything into the first. I've wondered in other posts about where else they can go subtext-wise now, given that they've already had someone call Jane a "dyke," had a real lesbian hit on Jane (and kiss her on the neck, which was sort of lame, but still), put Jane and Maura in bed, *twice*, alluding to or outright discussing attraction to each other (even if just to shoot it down in canon), not to mention all the touching and looking that goes on between the two of them. So the best we can hope for, I think, is more of the same. Please!
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jessica_eliza
Jan. 10th, 2011 04:06 pm (UTC)
I agree that she seems completely clueless. Not sure what to think with her "Ok kiddos... a MAN please" since I am aware from the beginning that when she asked "which actor", she kinda meant a male one. Still fun to see what she'd respond to "Sasha Alexander!!!!!" as an answer. lol.

But well... another reason for her non-response to Sasha shout-outs could be that she doesn't want to give out anything? Like...it's just a for-fun question anyways and she won't venture into Sasha because that's her main co-star and/or that she may accidentally give out possible spoilers, so she just outright ignored all those tweets. I don't know, but...just saying. lol.

Plus, if the writers are going to go the way the books did, Jane is going to end up with that FBI dude anyways. Which.. I do not prefer because I call chemistry like I see them. For me, I see chemistry between Jane and Maura but none whatsoever between Jane and Gabriel.
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cybertardis
Jan. 10th, 2011 04:29 pm (UTC)
I agree that she probably doesn't understand what is drawing the gay community to the show, or the reasons why Jane/Maura appeals so much to most of the fanbase (I'm going to say that Jane/Maura is absolutely the preferred fan pairing for the show, far surpassing all other potential pairings).

So I'm in the camp that thinks she's just clueless. But maybe this will be a teachable moment for her. :)
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littlesammy
Jan. 10th, 2011 04:33 pm (UTC)
I get that she's clueless. Lots of people are, and lots of people want to be. But the thing that actually annoys me about this is the phrasing "kiddos", which implies heavily that the girl suggestions have hit her as childish/immature and not to be taken seriously. This kinda rubs me the wrong way, as a fan in general, not just specifically a R&I fan.

And I totally, completely get what you mean about your muses. Pretty sure you won't be the only one affected by it. :(
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readthesubtext
Jan. 10th, 2011 05:55 pm (UTC)
This is a wonderful post, thank you. I started raising an eyebrow at Angie's tweets back when she seemed to be "actively promoting" her character's relationship with Lieutenant Grant:

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At the time, it was debatable whether she knew that the majority of the show's fanbase comprised of Jane/Maura shippers and so I may have been hasty in reading her comments as a deliberate "snub," but she nevertheless made it clear that she favoured the Jane/Grant (i.e. heterosexual) pairing, instead of taking the diplomatic line and leaving everything up to interpretation. As she wasn't giving any acknowledgement to the Jane/Maura shippers at the time, it struck me as a little pointed, but after some discussion with my f-listers, I concluded that maybe I was just reading too much into things/holding her to a higher standard because of what I know about her politics.

Then last night unfolded, and I don't feel like I have a reason to give her the benefit of the doubt anymore :( It's now clear that she DOES know about the Jane/Maura shippers, so it's not like any remarks she makes are inadvertent, and she effectively kicked sand in our faces with the: "OK, kiddos, a MAN please." Just the emphasis on "man" alone pisses me off.

I'm not saying I believe that Angie is homophobic (although her protestations to the contrary always seem too overstated & forced to me - i.e. the Chelsea Lately interview). We can take her at her word, or we can see it as her saving face for PR purposes, and I get that she must feel the weight of the "damned if you do/damned if you don't" mentality. She certainly plays Jane like she doesn't have a problem with lesbians at all. Still, the fact remains that if Angie is OK with the gay, then why is she so desperate for her character to be perceived as straight when thousands of fans are telling her that Jane reads as anything but? Yes, she ultimately backtracked on her words and started trying to appease us, but for me, it came across as exactly that. Appeasement.

The fact that she didn't even seem to realise the furore that remark would cause makes me shake my head in despair. At worst, it means she's totally dismissive of her lesbian fanbase. At best, it means that she's just plain dumb.

I'm just going to steer clear of her Twitter completely from now on, because - like you - I don't want it to infringe on my enjoyment of her wonderful performances, or Jane & Maura's amazing relationship.
starbuck1980
Jan. 10th, 2011 06:57 pm (UTC)
I didn't read your entire reply, just the tweets but maybe Angie really is blind to the fact that she plays 'gay' really damn well? *points at Lindsey Boxer AND Jane Rizzoli* Plus she must be really blind to that fact, or else she would actually realise that she has WAY more chemistry with Sasha than she does with Donnie.
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slow_therain
Jan. 10th, 2011 05:56 pm (UTC)
OMG, you took the words of my mouth. I couldn't have said it better myself. This was my exact reaction to the whole "a MAN please" fiasco because when you type in caps lock, it means you're yelling, am I not correct? It was like she meant "oh, please, stop bugging me with your deranged fantasies about my character and Sasha's. It will never happen, get over it. I ASKED ACTOR for Christ sake!"

I also need to give Angie some credit for her lack of tack in dealing with Rizzles fandoom. That's why I think celebreties shouldn't have twitter!

Really interested in your next post. =)
reversatility
Jan. 10th, 2011 07:49 pm (UTC)
This was my exact reaction to the whole "a MAN please" fiasco because when you type in caps lock, it means you're yelling, am I not correct?

Yes, exactly. As cybertardis and I discussed above, if she'd even used one emoticon, it would've come across different, and not shouting "MAN" either would've helped,

e.g. Ok kiddos... how 'bout a man please ;)"
laurel_hardy
Jan. 10th, 2011 05:56 pm (UTC)
I, too, am in the camp that Harmon is well meaning but needing large clues. I also think that the well meaning but 'unclued' can do a lot of unintentional damage. I'm sure she doesn't understand the pain she causes with that old chestnut of "some of my best friends are..."(fill in the blank depending on the decade: Jewish, Black, Gay, etc.). She offers it as a balm but it only inflames and increases the injury. (Slightly O/T: I wonder if the terrorist attack in Tucson has affected her support of Palin; if she can even see the connection between Palin's violent imagery aimed at the Congresswoman and the actual violence done to her. This leaving aside all the regression that Palin embodies and supports.)

I am one of the oldes here, we used to speak of raising the consciousness of those among the more privileged who were oblivious to the inherent unfairness of society towards Blacks and women. It was unrecognizable to them because it was all they'd ever known and remained unquestioned by them. (I do question how close Harmon's 'gay friends' actually are, though, to leave her so insensitive to the issue. I'm sure she's around gay people and treats them decently. Like I say, I believe her to be well meaning.)

I'm not on twitter, for one thing I don't find my daily routine worth commemorating. Who cares if I went to the grocery? I also think the space limitations less than conducive to a serious discussion. But it is a conduit to those we might otherwise not reach. Have any of you forwarded her the link to this? Have any of you told her "Angie, I love you but it hurts when you...because..."? Have anyone made the attempt to 'raise her consciousness'? I wish you would, with one provision: do it in the spirit of understanding, not anger. If she feels attacked I would expect that would only slow the process.

See? I needed paragraphs. I don't think this makes me a blowhard (although that might not be my call), but it makes me unsuited for twitter.
reversatility
Jan. 10th, 2011 07:58 pm (UTC)
I'm sure she doesn't understand the pain she causes with that old chestnut of "some of my best friends are..."(fill in the blank depending on the decade: Jewish, Black, Gay, etc.). She offers it as a balm but it only inflames and increases the injury.

I definitely agree from a feminist perspective that the "Some of my best friend are" defense is at best weak and at worst inflammatory, but in fairness, Angie said that last night in response to Rizzoli_825's tweets about whether Angie "liked lesbians" or not. (Her appearance on the Chelsea Handler show did not, however, ostensibly have a similar direct provocation.)

Have any of you forwarded her the link to this? Have any of you told her "Angie, I love you but it hurts when you...because..."? Have anyone made the attempt to 'raise her consciousness'?

Not that I'm against consciousness raising, and I'm certainly in favor of dialogue, but I think people were posting here with the assumption that Angie wouldn't be reading, given that several commenters have remarked on her .. lack of intelligence.

I needed paragraphs.

I love paragraphs! One of my closest friends is a paragraph. I can't even count the number of my friends who are passages!
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snuffnyc
Jan. 10th, 2011 06:05 pm (UTC)
Darling, darling Angie is a tad dumb. I've heard it from a THOUSAND sources (some whom are quite credible.) I said it on twitter and I'll say it again: she's a lovely, sweet, sincere woman who is not the sharpest tool in the shed. I think she has a bit of "schooling" to go through, as many who've come before have needed, till she becomes aware of just how culturally significant television work (and her role in it, be it on camera or off) actually IS.

Watch her interview on Oprah. She's giggling like a schoolgirl in a morgue, but she RECOGNIZES that she's a dolt and has that nervous response to things. I think she just giggled in the morgue last night.



laurel_hardy
Jan. 10th, 2011 06:13 pm (UTC)
Ummm...yeah. I was actually kind of waiting for her to put her foot in her mouth once she got on twitter. Perhaps TNT should encourage her to put the smart phone down and walk away slowly, leaving the PR to them. Giggling in the morgue? Is that the flip side to crying in the chapel?
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kiranerys101
Jan. 10th, 2011 06:47 pm (UTC)
Oh what a great thoughtful and articulate original post and those that follow as well.

It's really stuff like this that is the reason I don't want to know anything about actors that portray characters I like. They take the fun out of it.

I kind of dread season 2 because, really, where are they going to take it? Will they leave it nice and open to subtext? I hope so and the Twitter banter clearly indicates they are aware of their following. Well, anyone but Harmon, that is. Maybe they'll feel pressure to have at least one of them hook up with a guy? I don't know but I'll enjoy it while I can and before reality takes the fun out of it, as apparently happened last night.
reversatility
Jan. 10th, 2011 08:03 pm (UTC)
It's really stuff like this that is the reason I don't want to know anything about actors that portray characters I like. They take the fun out of it.

Yeah, I used to be like that too, but as I commented elsewhere, Sasha Alexander drew me into Twitter with the lovely way she interacted with fans - even the over-the-top ones - and then when Angie came along last month, I jumped on the bandwagon.

I kind of dread season 2 because, really, where are they going to take it? Will they leave it nice and open to subtext?

I know what you mean, and I'm trying not to think about it really at all. The best we can hope for, I think, is more of the same (as S1); they gotta remember what made the show a success in the first place, right?
starbuck1980
Jan. 10th, 2011 06:54 pm (UTC)
Please don't tell me Angie supports Sarah Palin, cos that would really ruin my day, not to mention lower my respect somewhat! : (
reversatility
Jan. 10th, 2011 08:06 pm (UTC)
Sorry, but she really did (see http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2009/11/23/angie-harmon-happy-sarah-palin-run-president/?test=faces ). I don't judge Angie for her political leanings, but I certainly wish she hadn't expressed her support for a politician whose positions I find very problematic.
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hallonpaj
Jan. 10th, 2011 07:15 pm (UTC)
I actually feel like this whole thing blew out of proportions. I mean, really. No matter how much we want Jane to be gay, in the end she is 99,9% possibly going to end up with a man. I'm pretty sure Angie was already aware of her lesbian following (since she has had one for years) plus the fact that people ship Jane/Maura. I don't think she meant it as a mean thing, really. I mean, Angie is so incredibly blonde at times. Tbh, most of the time when I read her tweets I just feel embarrassed for her.

I just honestly thing the fandom needs to chill a bit about this. She obviously loves the gays. If Angie says she does, I will believe her. But no matter how much she loves the gays, it won't make Jane any less straight. Angie doesn't decide this in the end anyway, right? It's not her call who Jane ends up with. It's obvious that she wants Jane to be a straight character because that's who she imagined her, that's how she is in the book.

I am however amazed at how incredibly gay she acts. In most of the things I've seen her in, I've gotten the gay vibe. Not in Baywatch Nights tho, surprisingly enough I ship her with Mitch, which is just strange. I'm not sure if it's something she plans or if it's just the fact that she often plays a girl in a very manly job. She comes off as a little butch.

Getting really offended by this is just.. unnecessary. It may have been rude, even if I (and I'm gay) didn't see it that way, but I'm pretty sure she didn't mean it that way. If she wasn't aware of the Jane/Maura shippers before she must have been really out of it, but since it's most probable that she does, would she really want to make them all upset? They all must be somewhat aware that most of the following watch for the chemistry between her and Sasha.

We just need to calm down. Angie is straight, and most of the time she ships straight. Just like most of my gay friends tend to ship gay if they can (I am not talking about everyone here, but I do know a whole lot of lesbians who femslashes basically everything). Is it really such a bad thing for a STRAIGHT actress to assume her character is in fact STRAIGHT? Considering the fact that in the script you've earlier posted has consistently written out the chemistry she should have with what's his face. There are no evidence in the script that says that she has any chemistry with Maura nor that they are in fact in love. In my opinion, she only does her job.

I don't want to offend or insult anyone, you are all allowed to have your own opinion on this, and you are allowed to be hurt. It's up to you how to take it. I just hope it won't result in a dislike for either Angie or in the end Rizzoli & Isles, because that would be really sad.
laurel_hardy
Jan. 10th, 2011 07:53 pm (UTC)
I beg to differ on a couple of points. I personally don't think it's obvious that she loves the gays. This whole thread is about the disconnect between her declarations of said love and her tone deafness regarding gays otherwise, including the "some of my best friends" declarations. That phrasing is historically the refuge of those that don't get it. And I'm not suggesting by this that I think she's inherently homophobic, just less than fully understanding. It's sort of the inversion of the show having putatively straight characters that consistently scream hoyay! at the top of their fictional lungs. Her own orientation and that of her character really should not be a complete stumbling block to her comprehension. If she had greater understanding AS A HUMAN, she could have handled the whole tweet session in a way that did not cause offense to the huge gay/lesbian following of her and her show. Given that she knows we're out there, she really should make it her business to be more understanding, or just shut up if she can't.
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princessitsy
Jan. 10th, 2011 07:26 pm (UTC)
Wow, what a great meta post and a good illustration of why I try really hard to ignore the people behind the curtain. I really think publicists must hate twitter. When I start to actually look at the actors behind my favorite characters I tend to find out a) they're complete idiots b) they're beyond clueless or c) they're assholes. Not that these categories are mutually exclusive and not all actors seem like this (Sasha seems super awesome, as does Mariska).

I second, third, or fourth what people above me have said about Angie just being generally clueless (she is, as someone above me said, not the sharpest tool in the shed, and when I saw she was on twitter I cringed, just waiting for something like this to happen). I don't think cluelessness is an excuse for being hurtful though.


I just like to silently chuckle to myself when I hear her...umm we'll just go with clueless/ignorant remarks like 'i love the gays' or 'my best friend is totally a lesbian.' I mean seriously have we not gotten to a point that we, as a society, realize that is the most BS defense. The reason I laugh though is because I just imagine telling her that every major character she has played (R&I, WMC, L&O) is femslashed like whoa in fic.
reversatility
Jan. 10th, 2011 08:17 pm (UTC)
Not that these categories are mutually exclusive and not all actors seem like this (Sasha seems super awesome, as does Mariska).

I don't follow Mariska's extratextual activities, but I definitely agree about Sasha (hence my plan for a Sasha is awesome post!).

I don't think cluelessness is an excuse for being hurtful though.

Agreed. And partly in response to hallonpaj above, I don't think what happened on Angie's Twitter last night is utterly despicable or unforgivable. But individual intentions aren't all there are to what we say; that's why my post was about the context in which that tweet was made.

The reason I laugh though is because I just imagine telling her that every major character she has played (R&I, WMC, L&O) is femslashed like whoa in fic.

LOL How true!!

(Anonymous)
Jan. 10th, 2011 09:07 pm (UTC)
amazing
I find it incredibly disconcerting that people twist the blurbs posted on Twitter. Angie seems fairly fun loving and yes, ditzy. She's also a straight woman who portrays a straight character. No matter what subtext is in the show, the producers and writers didn't intend for it. Jane and Maura are not a couple but for the random they are. That said do you think it's fair to shove the Jane/Maura shipdom down their throat. I'm sure Angie and Sasha are very aware and flattered. At the end of the day it's a straight based investigation show on TNT. They know both their characters will likely wind up with men. Angie was merely putting a question out there not knowing the uhm....dangers. Stop questioning just how many gays she's friends with or how "gay" they really are. That incredibly insulting to her friends and frankly none of our business. If her level of support bothers you or you find her lacking in whatever way, stop following her. She's entitled to her opinions, big or small minded though I'm fairly certain all this was blown out of context.

For the record I'm gay and I think she's a silly girl in a woman's body. That ain't gonna change. Sasha is mentally on whole different maturity level and thus less ridiculous in her posts.
reversatility
Jan. 10th, 2011 10:11 pm (UTC)
Re: amazing
That said do you think it's fair to shove the Jane/Maura shipdom down their throat.

I don't know if you're addressing me personally here, but I don't think what happened constitutes "shoving the J/M shipdom down" anyone's throat. Angie asked a question, fans answered, she chose to respond in a certain way, and it resulted in a variety of responses back. As far as I could see, no one was suggesting that *Angie* has to ship Jane/Maura; it was just disheartening that initially she seemed to be dismissive of those of us who did, while giving lots of individual responses to those who suggested male actors.
ggdogsdottir
Jan. 10th, 2011 09:14 pm (UTC)
I try not to let the actual, real people who play the characters I love effect how I feel about the characters I love. As long as they do their job well (act) - I tend to be happy. That being said, however; I have a difficult time with allowing someone off the hook because they are "clueless.", or stupid. She should probably hire an intelligent personal assistant to edit her tweets before sending them "out there."

I pretty much decided to go along with what your last sentence said.

"But for now, that tweet has kind of killed my Jane/Maura muse (except when it makes me want to go write complete and utter smut where Maura really, uh, gives it to Jane). "

LOL... too funny.



reversatility
Jan. 11th, 2011 06:40 pm (UTC)
I try not to let the actual, real people who play the characters I love effect how I feel about the characters I love.

In general, that's what I've tried to do too, primarily by disregarding extratextual stuff about the actors etc. But as I mentioned upthread (or was it downthread? Hard to keep track now that the comments are so numerous!), I got pulled into following Sasha on Twitter over the summer, and then, along with the other R&I masses, started following Angie when she finally joined.

LOL... too funny.

Thanks; I meant it half-earnestly, half in jest :-).
stitchm
Jan. 10th, 2011 10:52 pm (UTC)
So, I get online today and this has exploded on Livejournal and frankly, I can't see what the problem is.

People are taking offense because they want to take offense.

I am asexual, have one eighth Shoshone blood and... here's the shocker - I'm a right-winger. For some reason, the predetermined notion exists that a right-winger is always homophobic/racist. People almost can't handle it when it's not true ;-) Given my orientation and mixed background, you'd assume I'd be liberal, right?

People are always looking for her to slip somehow, painting Angie with the racist or homophobic brush with every misconstrued comment. I'm sure Sasha has written things that could be misconstrued like this but because she's not a right-winger, no-one's gone "OMG! HOMOPHOBE!".

If we're going to play it like that then why aren't all my lesbian friends the stereotypical scary lesbian type? Not all my gay guy friends are camp.

If you want to go political, I like that Angie can think for herself and not be a sheep but what do I know? Being a right-winger, I am OBVIOUSLY racist and homophobic.

In the context of the tweet... Angie KNOWS about the shipping and in her job acting as Jane Rizzoli, she knows that the character is indeed straight and plays her so, and was just prompting for a LIKELY love interest that Jane, as a straight character, would go for.
laurel_hardy
Jan. 11th, 2011 12:34 am (UTC)
Except for all the people that have gone out of their way to state that they don't think Harmon necessarily is a homophobe based on this and other of her statements. Almost as many have stated they view Harmon as a sweet, well meaning person. And some of us understand that one can be politically conservative yet wish to see the end of second class status with which some groups have been saddled. Personally, I can't state what Harmon knows beyond what she herself has stated, and similarly it is your opinion that people are offended simply because they want to be. Have you read what's been posted in this thread? It really doesn't seem like it.
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timepassedyouby
Jan. 10th, 2011 11:49 pm (UTC)
I, too, am one of the straight (well, probably like a 1 on the Kinsey scale? I don't know. I can appreciate the attractiveness of both sexes, but don't really see myself dating women) fans who ships Jane/Maura. It kind of took me by surprise only because I wasn't expecting them to have that kind of chemistry at all. I only started watching the show because I caught the second episode when I stayed over at my cousin's house, and thought it was a fun show that I could easily catch up on. If I hadn't been there, I would have never known that this show existed.

It wasn't until around 1.04 that I tilted my head and said, "Wait, this is kinda gay," and that was that. Yes, I'm slow on the uptake, whatever.

I'm not too sure of how I feel about this whole incident because I feel like I don't know enough about anything in order to make a valid comment, but my gut reaction is that there's a tad bit of an overreaction. Not to say that you don't have a point, because I do agree with you, and okay, I'm not making any sense anymore so I'll just stop.

I guess this is just yet another example of the cons to having a social networking account when you're a celebrity.
lozzy
Jan. 11th, 2011 12:35 am (UTC)
It wasn't until around 1.04 that I tilted my head and said, "Wait, this is kinda gay," and that was that. Yes, I'm slow on the uptake, whatever.
haha! I watched almost the whole season without thinking that! I think I ventured into the fandom around episode 8 or 9 and when people here were shipping Jane/Maura and I saw that the majority of the fandom did, I was like, "Wait. Did I miss something?!" And my mom watched the whole season too and only like a month or two ago I was saying something to her about all the people shipping Jane/Maura and she said she never thought of them as gay either. So, I don't know if we're oblivious or something, lol. I don't have anything against gay people or anything like that; I just didn't notice the possibility until it was pointed out to me!
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lozzy
Jan. 11th, 2011 12:31 am (UTC)
I gave her some male suggestions; I said Ryan Reynolds or Bradley Cooper, just because I want to see them on my TV screen more often, lol (and what I wanted to add was, "preferably shirtless!"). So, yeah, I'm one of the straight fans, lol. And I don't really ship Maura/Jane (Honestly, until I came to the LJ communities and other fandom things, I never would have even thought of them as a couple! My sister watched an episode with me and asked if they were sisters. Maybe we're just clueless, haha.) But I don't see anything wrong with people shipping Maura/Jane. I read some of the fics!

But about what happened last night, as soon as she asked that question I was thinking to myself, "So many people are gonna say she should be with Maura!" and then when I saw her next comment I was like, "People are gonna be so mad about this!" I'm kinda surprised people took it so seriously though. I'm not saying your opinion is wrong at all, but I just think she wasn't thinking about how it would sound to some fans when she said that. I think she just meant that the characters are straight and therefore she needs male ideas and not females. And some people took it more seriously than she meant it. But she probably should've thought a little more about it before tweeting, to make sure it didn't come out sounding wrong. But, whatever. (I'm not a Republican, btw, if people are thinking it's a political thing.)
capturing_words
Jan. 11th, 2011 01:16 am (UTC)
I was trying to restrain myself from writing here tonight because I can barely keep my eyes open, but, as you see, I've failed.

I just want to say, my dear reversatility, how FANTASTIC your idea of posting an entry like this was. I'm really having a blast reading everybody's opinions. It's not that I want to throw firewood onto the fire, because I really think some people have overreacted, it's just that I LOVE reading people's different thoughts and reactions (that's the good thing about being in a fandom, right?). I find it super interesting to read comments that are all for Angie, comments that are disappointed in (and even angry at) her, comments kind of in between (which is right where I find myself), and even some straight gals' points of view (hello, ladies! Did you get lost? Haha, just kidding, I love variety, I really do, since sometimes I feel like we're just in a kind of ghetto feeding each other's femslashy's minds. So I was really glad to read there are also straight people around =) ).

Personally, I don't think Angie meant any bad with her tweets at all, but I also believe that she might as well have been more tactful. I'm not gonna say she's homophobic because I don't think she is, but I have to admit that she gets on my nerves very often because everything she says to show her "LOVE" for the gays sounds just too forced to me. She is entitled to have her own opinion about the gays, she just should try not to push it so much in order not to make it sound so shallow. There's no need to say how much she LOVES!!! the gays and how MANY gay friends she has. I'd rather have her not say anything about it, for that matter. It's not about what you say, but about what you don't say or reply to, Angie, dear. Or, seen from another perspective, it's not about what you don't say (I'm uncomfortable with the gay thing), but about what you KEEP insistently saying (Donnie Wahlberg, Donnie Wahlberg, Donnie Wahlberg, MAN, men, mice... oops, no, it wasn't mice, it was poop soup!). I don't even know what the fuck I've just said. Deal with it, hahaha.

On a lighter note, I'm dying to read that "Sasha is awesome" entry! Because she IS awesome. I could very easily fall in love with that woman, seriously. She's on a whole higher level of maturity/smartness, of you will. She's so gracious, funny, tactful, smart, sweet! OK, and HOT. And, from the little I've seen, she seems to hold great values and pillars of morality. [Fangirl mode ON] *squeals* She's so perfect. *claps hands furiously* [Fangirl mode OFF] Uhm, yeah.

Happy to be sharing all these Rizzles (and Harmander? Alexarmon? LMAO!) moments with you, folks! This fandom has truly been a great discovery in my life (and I do have a "real" social life!).
reversatility
Jan. 11th, 2011 03:14 am (UTC)
I was trying to restrain myself from writing here tonight because I can barely keep my eyes open, but, as you see, I've failed.

Glad that you dropped by to add your humorously thoughtful two cents!

There's no need to say how much she LOVES!!! the gays and how MANY gay friends she has.

Yeah; as I think others have commented, that can come across poorly as a defense. Which doesn't mean it's not true; like I said, I do believe she has gay and lesbian friends that she likes/loves. It's just not really what the issue is about.

I have a very good trans friend, and I've still expressed some pretty damn insensitive/borderline transphobic things, and gotten called on it. I would never defend myself by saying, "But one of my best friends is trans"; the thing to do is to acknowledge that what I said was problematic (and yes, it took me a while to do that, but that's my bad).

She's so gracious, funny, tactful, smart, sweet! OK, and HOT. And, from the little I've seen, she seems to hold great values and pillars of morality. [Fangirl mode ON] *squeals* She's so perfect. *claps hands furiously* [Fangirl mode OFF]

Agreed and LOL - perhaps *you* should write the "Sasha is awesome" post?
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sunsetwriter
Jan. 11th, 2011 01:18 am (UTC)
Let me start by saying that I don't use Twitter, but I stumbled across a link today to Angie's tweets being discussed here. I decided to drop in on you to see if you had seen them - and wow! Sorry I'm late to the party! :-) Very interesting discussions going on here...

I'm sort of on the fence with this one. I didn't really like her "a MAN please" response, but I also saw a tweet from her where she responded to a question about the subtext continuing and she confirmed that it would. She would have to be living under a rock to not know about the show's lesbian fanbase and all the Jane/Maura shippers. Maybe she has been under her rock, because I'm not really sure why she would ask such a question and not expect a deluge of "Maura" responses.

I also wonder if she was testing the waters, so to speak. Maybe she really wanted to see first hand how many of her followers were on the Jane/Maura ship. I kind of liken it to telling a child not to touch that because it's hot. Child hears you and knows that it's hot, but touches anyway just to make sure. Child then cries because he got burned.

I'm also in the camp that believes that actors and show staff interacting directly with the fans on Twitter is not always a good thing. I think it was a lot of fun to see some of the tweets from the "chartacter" accounts, who actually played along and even fueled the subtext fires. I wonder if that may be one reason why people are so disappointed here - we're not hearing the voice of Jane Rizzoli any longer, but an actress who is very, very different from the character she plays. I've decided that I'm happier just knowing the characters and not the actors themselves. I would love to hang out with Jane - Angie, not so much.
reversatility
Jan. 11th, 2011 03:23 am (UTC)
I decided to drop in on you to see if you had seen them - and wow! Sorry I'm late to the party! :-)

No apologies necessary - very happy to see you :-)!

I didn't really like her "a MAN please" response, but I also saw a tweet from her where she responded to a question about the subtext continuing and she confirmed that it would.

Oh, yeah, I was going to include that tweet, which I also liked seeing, but I accidentally left it out:

From unlessstated:
@Angie_Harmon Rizzoli and Isles will still have subtexty moments right?! :) Ps what's your starsign? xxx
10:09 PM Jan 9th via Echofon
Angie_Harmon's reply:
@unlessstated totally... shhhh.. LEO
10:14 PM Jan 9th via Twitter for Android in reply to unlessstated

I also wonder if she was testing the waters, so to speak.

Interesting theory; I tend to think not, but it certainly can't be ruled out. If she was testing, she got a pretty emphatic reply!

I wonder if that may be one reason why people are so disappointed here - we're not hearing the voice of Jane Rizzoli any longer, but an actress who is very, very different from the character she plays.

Quite possibly. My own disappointment was certainly two-fold; one part was a fangirlish hope that Angie would kind of play along with Rizzles a bit more. The other was a more intellectual/political disappointment for the reasons I outlined above.
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hahnsrockstar
Jan. 11th, 2011 01:28 am (UTC)
I also watched it happen in real time. Perhaps this is based on my unbelievably low expectations when it comes to official show people commenting on their non-canon ships (waves to my fellow Sheldon/Penny shippers) but while it wasn't a great response from her, it could have been a lot worse.

As soon as she asked the question, I was cringing in anticipation of her response to the R&I love. When the 'a MAN please' reply came, I thought 'Sasha knows how to deal with this kind of thing' but I kept reading. I was pleasantly surprised (remember, low expectations here) that she didn't try to persuade us that R&I are a crazy idea/what were we thinking/it would ruin the show. Instead, we got 'we know about the subtext and it will continue' replies.

So, I'm good.
reversatility
Jan. 11th, 2011 03:30 am (UTC)
while it wasn't a great response from her, it could have been a lot worse.

True; the fact that this post has generated so much discussion suggests to me that Angie's response was between ideal and terrible (if it had been truly terrible, the condemnation would be closer to unanimous).

And perhaps low expectations is the way to go sometimes. I guess we've been spoiled a bit by both Sasha and whoever does the @JaneRizzoli and @MauraIsles characters, as sunsetwriter alluded to above.
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ml_spikie
Jan. 11th, 2011 01:34 am (UTC)
I'd hate to see this business kill your muse because you write great stories.
reversatility
Jan. 11th, 2011 03:31 am (UTC)
Aww, thanks! As I commented to someone else, I think I just need to work this through a bit, and then I (and my muse) will be fine :-).
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hettiegolightly
Jan. 11th, 2011 01:46 am (UTC)
So Sasha's been dragged into it following this rather funny take on the episode:
http://lostinthewhedonverse.tumblr.com/post/2684402962

Her response:
https://twitter.com/SashaAlexander1/status/24488390816694272

what a sweetie.

I second the call for the 'Sasha is awesome' post.
reversatility
Jan. 11th, 2011 03:34 am (UTC)
Yeah, I just saw Sasha's response this afternoon. To be fair to Angie, she retweeted that link on her Twitter account today as well.

I second the call for the 'Sasha is awesome' post.

Thanks for the vote; I'm working on it!
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